5. Reciprocal constructions in Indo-Pakistani Sign Language

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Indo-Pakistani Sign Language (IPSL) is the sign language used by deaf communities in a large region across India and Pakistan. This visual-gestural language has a dedicated construction for specifically expressing reciprocal relationships, which can be applied to agreement verbs and to auxiliaries. The reciprocal construction relies on a change in the movement pattern of the signs it applies to. In addition, IPSL has a number of other strategies which can have a reciprocal interpretation, and the IPSL lexicon includes a good number of inherently reciprocal signs. All reciprocal expressions can be modified in complex ways that rely on the grammatical use of the sign space. Considering grammaticalisation and lexicalisation processes linking some of these constructions is also important for a better understanding of reciprocity in IPSL.


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